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The Oldest Medicine

El Gaucho introduces $14 medicinal cocktails.

August 30, 2010

El Gaucho Bellevue has introduced a menu of medicinally themed cocktails.

According to the press release, the steakhouse chain contracted “expert herbalists” to create special tinctures for its Bellevue branch, then developed cocktail recipes around those tinctures. The tinctures include ginkgo biloba (for memory), St John’s Wort (for depression), Asian ginseng (to enhance energy) and a sedative called skullcap—in case you had to much Asian ginseng, I guess.

The cocktail called Remember Me, for instance, mixes cachaça with honey syrup, lime, and ginkgo biloba; the Pain Killer is Hendrick’s gin, St. Germain, lemon, cucumber, and St. John’s Wort. The drinks are $14 each.

El Gaucho is of course not the first local drinkery to capitalize on the attraction we feel, as Seattleites, for any and all healthy remedies that are vaguely natural and Eastern in feel. Pulp Catering, which serves up very tasty fresh-fruit purees spiked with echinacea and organic vodka, is run by the homeopathy-degree holding Tim Ticehurst, who also has a herbal hangover cure called Nux. And then of course there is Fu Kun Wu in Ballard with its Chinese apothecary furnishings and its trippy kava cocktails.

Alcohol and medicine are the oldest of bed buddies, of course. At apothecaries of yore, bitters were prescribed for stomachaches, toddies for sore throats. But I have a feeling the effects of cachaça outweigh those of a few drops of ginkgo biloba. After a few Remember Mes, in other words, you may forget you’re drinking $14 cocktails.

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